My friend Bryn is one of the most talented, hilarious, artistic people I know. Every time I step foot in her gorgeous home I feel like I should go home and paint something, re-arrange some shelves or prop some pillows in a more Bryn-like fashion.
She and her landscape architect husband Chris have, over the last 10 years, restored their five points home with lots of tender loving care and do-it-yourself talent.
The house is a myriad of added-on rooms with strange connections compliments of the previous owners, but it makes for very interesting twists and turns and intriguing passageways.
Bryn, being the visionary she is, and absolutely dripping with creativity, has turned those nooks into magical cozy spaces that invite you to admire and ponder their wonderfulness.
She will often spot some rejected mirror or frame or shutter and say, hands on hips, eyes wide, “That wants to come live with me!” and the next thing you know, that rejected shutter from a 40s house is a showcase for her living room walls, displaying gorgeous photos of her children.
No one else would even think of using a shutter in such a way. And that’s what I adore about Bryn. After 20-some years of friendship, I now constantly ask myself when I encounter some unusual object, “What would Bryn do with this?”
I am betting you have some nooks in your home that could use some attention. Some places you never thought to hang a picture, such as a door to your laundry room, or a tiny hallway between bed and bath.
And I have no doubt that you have treasures sitting around that need a new location. Plug in some imagination and see where it leads you.
Here’s another example you might find inspiring. Last week’s article showcased my bedroom’s third makeover, and my cousin Carol remarked on the article, after seeing our Granny’s antique Eastlake style dresser in my bedroom, that she has one of Granny’s crochet bedspreads. She has the beautiful delicate thing carefully hung in a hallway of her home, and has Granny’s framed photo on the wall as well! The yarn is ivory, and her hall walls are a deep Victorian rose color, which peeks through the crochet design in such a lovely way!
Her hallway is narrow and fairly typical of 70s style home hallways. Too narrow for furniture, but now beautifully accessorized with something meaningful, heartfelt, and comforting.
Isn’t that a neat idea?
And wouldn’t Granny just love that three and four generations later we are still treasuring things she created or held dear?
Hallways are a great place to start when it comes to creating nooks. Look at your hallway, the one that leads to your bedrooms. What can you do that is creative there? I often advise clients to take down the cheesy little mushroom shaped light fixture that usually lights these hallways, and install a track light with 3 or 4 cans instead. It’s easy to do if you are even moderately handy. You can find instructions on line, and if you are careful to cut the power from your fuse box, you or a handy friend can do this in less than half an hour and for less than $100.
Once the track light is up, turn your hallway into an art gallery! Use family photos, your kid’s school pictures, or even your children’s art. No framing necessary, just thumbtacks strategically placed! One quart of a brightly colored paint on the end wall of the hall makes a pop of accent that turns what was once a dull hallway into an interesting feature. Add a runner style rug and you've really kicked it up a notch!
That’s just one idea. Where else in your home is a little nook possible? An ignored corner of your great room might be the perfect spot for a cozy chair you can pick up for a song at Classic Cottage Consignments. Pair it with a couple of art pieces and a floor lamp, sit a basket full of magazines on the floor beside it, and you suddenly have a little peaceful spot to perch while talking (or just listening) to Mama on the phone!
Have a look at all the photos I took of the sweet little nooks at Bryn’s house, then take five minutes to ponder your own home, and I’ll bet you will come up with at least one spot to get creative with!